Rio Conventions Pavilion TV, CBD COP11 (15/10/2012) – Ms Rejoice Mabudafhasi, South Africa’s Deputy Minister for Water & Environmental Affairs, outlines the environmental challenges facing South Africa and the environmental programs being undertaken to tackle them.
Mabudafhasi sees the key challenge being to strengthen ecosystems while protecting agriculture. She sees striking this balance as key when our ability to grow food is threatened by land degradation and climate change.
In particular, Mabudafhasi expresses her concern about climate change causing soil degradation through excess rain and subsequent flooding and the drying up of rivers during periods of extreme heat.
Mabudafhasi outlines several South African programmes to improve the natural environment. She discusses water harvesting – capturing water either in tanks or in plants before it escapes to waterways and the ocean. She also explains an ‘Adopt a River’ program where communities take a holistic approach to decontaminating rivers, tackling pollution from industry, agriculture and their own communities.